An Exercise In Trivial Pursuits

Fatshion, Food & Frivolities – Life in Las Vegas & Singapore


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My 1st Wedding Anniversary

It’s been one year since T and I got married in a frivolous ceremony officiated by Darth Vader and it’s been 14 months since I’ve been living permanently in the US.

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Things are still going strong despite lots of initial doubts from friends and family. We met on OKCupid and I don’t see any shame in letting anyone know that even if people gave me a lot of flak for giving up my career and getting married so quickly into the relationship (he proposed 4 days after we met in person and we got married 6 months after that). I think that the trick to maximizing your success rate with dating is to be as honest as you can from the get-go (bare faced, uninhibited bodily functions and what nots) and instead of waiting for things to happen. You will know when someone is out of your league or obviously not your type, you really don’t want to go into it thinking either one of you will change for the other.

T and I turned to Internet dating because we just weren’t getting any luck meeting the right people. We knew what we were looking for after actively trying to find a partner for years. On OKCupid, we answered a lot of personal and lifestyle questions (hundreds) that were presented on the site and with the science of computation and algorithm matching (Did I say that right?), we gave it a shot in real life and it worked.

I knew that a Saturday night with him wasn’t going to be painting the town red and there will be no Sunday flea markets to stroll through. I knew that he wasn’t going to care if I didn’t want to touch raw flesh and cook him a steak dinner or he wasn’t going to make me hang out at pubs drinking beer. We are dog people and we want children if we can. It really saved us a lot of time and grief because we already had a similar outlook on life  (over 90% match, yo)!

T is still the man I married (you’d be surprised how many people change within months of living together) and I’m in exactly the kind of relationship I’ve always wanted even though we are less than perfect human beings. Let’s be honest, we met in our mid-30s and with life experience, comes personal baggage – but hey! We’re a-okay!

My husband is a strange bedfellow who’d wake me up in the middle of the night to tell me his weird dreams or to look out the window to see a blood moon at 3am. He’d ask for permission to fart in bed – no permission needed, totally cool anytime as long as it’s not upwind towards my nasal region. Once I told him I was scared and didn’t like the weird howling sounds from the thunder storms while I was reading in bed and he ran all the way, booming steps and all, down the stairs from the 3rd floor office to our bedroom on the ground floor. Then jumped into bed, only to be bounced off onto the floor by the mattress springs and then jump back in immediately to give me a hug. The howling (read: hysterical laughing) for the next 5 minutes came from me – the hilarity of the situation is only signature of T’s behaviour.

This year has been especially emotionally, physically and financially challenging for the both of us but we’re coping and while I miss my friends, family and the most perfect job I had in the world, I would give it all up again for what I have now. It’s defies logic but matters of the heart are illogical to begin with.

Taking a chance on a whirlwind romance, the risk and excitement of it all! We’ve got a good story to start! So far so good right?


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Oh by the way, I got married

20131029-035341.jpgOh hey… Guess what? I got married last Saturday. In Vegas, of course. By Darth Vader, no less. These pixellated photos are courtesy of screen captures from the LIVE STREAM. We didn’t have both our mothers in attendance and I also wanted to share the occasion with my close friends back in Singapore, so we had a video broadcast of the event!

Yes! We finally did it and this means, no more long distance. Hopefully, we will never ever have to spend a night apart again (okay, not for months at a stretch, I mean).

It was a small ceremony held at Viva Las Vegas, that hopefully is indicative of our lives together henceforth – there was some planning (we both wanted something that spoke to our geek sides), some budgeting (everything including BOTH our clothes, shoes, accessories, the rental of the chapel, photographer, minister’s fee, marriage license etc was under $2000), some frivolous fun, lots of laughter and always inclusive of our friends and families no matter where they are.

It still feels surreal.

Before the actual wedding, we had to get our marriage license. Easy peasy! USD60 as well as a valid passport or photo ID that displays your full name and date of birth is all it takes. The Clark County Marriage Bureau operates 365 days a year from 8am to midnight every day and when we were there, I observed people from all over, not just US citizens. All kinds of people come here to get married in the Wedding Capital of the World, many spontaneously and some were already in their wedding clothes – straight after getting their marriage licence, they would head to a chapel (there are dozens nearby) to be married!

Less than a year ago when T said he was going to marry me, I basically laughed and said “We’ll see about that…”, and now we’re here. I think my mother loved T more than any other guy I’ve brought home, because you know… he’s just so decent and proper, and was only too happy to let me do this (with just a hint of being scandalized because I didn’t do the proper “handover” aka Chinese tea ceremony before I ran away to get married to an Ang Mo in a foreign country). But that’s that and we’re going to try get it sorted out soon so my family’s honour can be restored… *koffkoff*

So hello everyone! This is it! I’m the new Mrs T Happ!

And if you want to bless our home with a gift or two… here’s our Amazon Wedding Gift Registry or scoot over there for some stalking and see what kind of people we are. HAHA!

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3 weddings in a row

I attended 3 different weddings one after another just in the last few weeks and while I had a lot of fun, they all made me think about mine. Well, specifically whether or not I even want one eventually.

First up was Pearlyn and Rong Zhao’s at Burkill Hall – a historical British colonial bungalow nestled in the greenery of the Singapore Botanic Gardens on 19 July 2013. This was a location that was decided on after months and months of searching for a place with a specific setting she wanted. Before the wedding, I accompanied Pearlyn to the stamp makers shop to collect a custom stamp and red wax to seal her wedding invites. That’s how detailed she was! Pearl and Rongzhao actually registered their marriage officially the week before and then had a Christian ceremony in the early part of the evening before dinner. Pearlyn also invited friends who were musicians to perform and they had a mobile photo-booth as part of the festivities. We were given print-outs immediately after we took the pictures and that was really fun. Dinner was buffet-style and we were seated on the 2nd floor of the venue. The bridal couple made their way from upstairs to downstairs and had different outfits. Pearlyn wore a white designer gown she bought in NYC the year before and also a gorgeous gold kebaya (I think it belonged to her Peranakan grandmother).

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Then last weekend on 3 August, I attend Keat and Adrian’s wedding at the ultra posh Capella Singapore on Sentosa Island which served a seated 7-course lunch. Keat was an ex-colleague and I also ended up working for her part-time for 3 years. She’s one of those go-getter types who wants it all and works hard for everything. It’s no surprise when her husband Adrian mentioned in his speech that she pulled the entire wedding together in 3 months – including a memorable entrance that started with her bridesmaids and groomsmen (total of 12 of them) in co-ordinated and tailored outfits marching in, and then exiting (to my confusion) before dancing their way in again, forming an arch and the bridal couple coming through to cheers and then leading the entire entourage through a dance sequence. Even if everyone had perfect co-ordination, the time it took to choreograph and then rehearse to get it right should take a while, right? Keat also had 2 outfit changes – one white sweetheart neckline gown with the huge tulle skirt and then a bright orange/pink/silver backless Chinese cheongsam type dress. There were videos and slideshows, there was a photo booth with instant printout, even the table group photo was printed and given out almost immediately!

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The last wedding I attended was last night – Shawn and Ginette’s hipster (stables, mason jars, 80s music, a video of their cat frolicking around their house and Storm Trooper helmet at the reception desk) wedding at The Marmalade Pantry. Ginette who’s a multi-hyphenate (art school lecturer-designer-DJ-rock chick bassist/vocalist-fashion entrepreneur) had her gown designed by a colleague (a fashion designer/lecturer, I’m assuming) wore her face with simple bold red lips and eyeliner. One outfit, no changes. Shawn wore a blazer with gold buttons (I was looking for his Captain’s hat because he looked like he just came off from sailing). I loved the wedding playlist. I had my inner circle of friends with me. It was a largely casual affair and my favourite bits were the speeches! Shawn mentioned that he didn’t understand why they needed to have a wedding since they registered their marriage a year ago and already own a flat they lived in. But he was glad that Ginette convinced him it was to create another special moment to share – one for them to share the occassion with close friends and family.

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I learnt through my friends that a wedding is a joyous and special day for them to share with the ones they love most. That each wedding should reflect the couple’s personality or what they hope to project. That it’s very stressful and costly to plan one. I go home happy at the end of the weddings I attend because I know how much effort my friends spend to execute theirs. I have learnt from past experiences that I will only attend the weddings of those people I actually like and want to be a part of. The horror stories of those people who “demand” to know why you give them $x for their super expensive wedding have happened to me too. I went to one where the bride rang me after the wedding and asked if I gave them a gift, and how much. People apparently invite “friends” to “fill tables” so that they can get their money’s worth since hotels charge per head, per table. So after close friends and relatives, they will go down the list and invite people who will attend, hoping to cover their cost. But still, I give as much as I can afford… Especially if I have 3 weddings to attend within a month, right?!

Did you know that there are websites that tell you how much the minimum wedding gift should be? Traditionally, S$88 for a Chinese-style sit-down wedding was the norm. These days however, on top of inflation, people are making known how much they spent on their wedding (or at least there are lists floating around on the interwebs). Depending on the venue, the time/date (lunch or dinner, weekdays or weekends make a difference) and your relationship with the couple (you project upwards of your share of the meal e.g. if it’s known that the venue usually charges about S$120 per head, you add maybe $30 or $50 or $100 on top of that). So a bridal couple in Singapore actually recoups at least 70-80% of what they spend and weddings are getting more extravagant.

Don’t believe me? Here are some links you should check out:

http://www.weddingangbao.com/

http://www.perfectweddings.sg/forums/wedding-ang-bao-market-rates-singapore-2013-a-407/

http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest+News/Singapore/Story/A1Story20120213-327481.html

http://forums.vr-zone.com/chit-chatting/2605693-latest-wedding-angbao-rates-2012-2013-a.html

I don’t have the money for large weddings nor the patience to plan one and T is too shy to be in front of more than 20 strangers at once. My parents have almost 20 siblings combined and I have about 50 first cousins (half of whom are married with children). I love how my friends were all dressed up, glowing and obviously blissful. I am envious that they get to share a special day like that with everyone they hold dear. So will T and I have a wedding? Your guess is as good as mine for now 😛